Step into wedding photography with these 20 poses

This article is written by Chris with UNDFIND, creators of Designer Photography Bags and Editors of SLR Lounge Photography Tutorials

Edit: as requested, we added another tutorial on “Poses for the groom and groomsmen”, you can find it here

Posing is one of the most important aspects of wedding photography. You can have all of the lighting, camera, and post-production knowledge in the world but still end up with unhappy clients if you fail to make them look beautiful, comfortable, and happy. The following list of poses isn’t comprehensive; and not all of the poses will work for all of your couples. However, it is a good starting point from which you should make adjustments to compliment your couples’ features and accommodate their style preferences. (The following images are provided courtesy of Lin and Jirsa, Los Angeles Wedding Photography)

1) The Basic Pose

The basic pose is a must-have in wedding photography. Make sure the bodies are close to each other with no gaps; and make sure the hands are somewhere other than hanging by their sides. Either have them hold hands in the middle or have the guy place his hand in his pocket and the bride place her hand on her hip.

2) Sitting Basic Post

The most important factor with this pose is hand placement. Awkward hand placement can ruin a perfect photo. Have the groom place one hand behind the bride’s body, with the other holding the bride’s hand in the middle. The bride’s other hand should rest on her lap or over the other hand.

3) Hug onto the Arm

Have the bride hug onto the bicep of the broom and place the other hand on his shoulder. This is a more casual pose than the standard basic pose mentioned above.

4) Standing Forehead to Forehead

Forehead to forehead is an intimate pose without the kissing. Make sure their eyes are closed so it doesn’t look like they’re staring each other down. If there is a significant height difference, have the groom do the splits until they are similar in height.

5) Sitting Forehead to Forehead

Similar to the standing forehead to forehead, the sitting forehead to forehead is a very intimate pose.

6) Meet in the middle

Meeting in the middle is perfect for those symmetrical scenes. Have the bride and groom stand a few feet apart, bend at the hip with backs straight and meet in the middle for a kiss.

7) The Dip

The dip adds action to a scene. Make sure the groom is using his legs to dip to give him a sturdy base and have the bride either grab around his neck or have them hold hands as they dip.

8 ) The Casual Look

The casual look is great because it’s a more candid look that doesn’t seem as “posed” as some of the others mentioned. Have your couple hold hands and look at each other. From here, you can get playful and have them make faces at each other if you want to make it more fun.

9) Intimate Look

Bringing their bodies together (instead of apart as shown in the pose above) as they look at each other, creates a more intimate feel. Again, make sure there is no gap between their bodies and make sure neither of them is leaning back. Leaning back or tilting the head away can decrease the intimate feel of the pose.

10) The Sitting Look

Similar to the standing look, the sitting look is a great way to show interaction between the couple. Have them sit either side-by-side or have the bride sit on the groom’s lap.

11) Single Look

Having the bride (or bride-to-be) look into the camera and the groom (or groom-to-be) look at her is a nice variation to add to your poses. You can also reverse it, with the groom looking into the camera and the bride looking up at him.

12) The Kiss

Of course the kiss needs very little explanation. The two main things are closeness, bringing their bodies together without gaps, and hand placement, making sure the arms aren’t just hanging aimlessly.

13) The Sitting Kiss

The sitting kiss is an intimate pose that can allow you to utilize different backgrounds and foregrounds in your compositions.

14) Kiss On the Cheek

The kiss on the cheek is a classic pose. It’s somewhere in between intimate and playful, depending on the expression of the subject.

15) Looking Off

Don’t forget that your couple doesn’t always need to be looking towards the camera. Looking off creates a romantic, photojournalistic feel and highlights the scenery.

16) Hold From Behind

The hold from behind is also an intimate, photojournalistic pose that highlights the backgrounds.

17) Staggared Couple

The staggered couple highlights one of the two subjects. Don’t place the person in the background too far from the person in the front, as you want to make sure the person in the back is still identifiable. Also, have the person in the back look at the person in the front, rather than into the camera.

18) The Carry

The carry can be playful or intimate. In the following image, an intimacy is created with a kiss; however, if the subjects were smiling at each other, the mood would be much more playful.

19) The Swing

The swing, like the dip, adds action to a scene.

20) Sitting Headrest

The sitting headrest is a casual sitting pose. The idea is to convey comfort. The bride and groom should look very comfortable with each other, somewhere between casual and intimate.

As mentioned, these poses are just a starting point. From here, you can make small adjustments, take slightly different angles, use different lighting techniques and lenses, and more to create an entirely different look and feel to the image. We hope you learned a few things, and stay tuned for more wedding photography tutorials.

I would like to thank Chris creator of Designer Photography Bags and Editor of SLR Lounge Photography Tutorials for this great article and I surely hope we will have him again for some great photography tips

If you enjoyed this article make sure to check Step Into Wedding Photography part 2 : Poses for the groom and groomsmen

  • Thank you I have been thinking about all the poses for wedding photography but didn’t know how to search for it. This is exactly what i have been asking around.

  • Wonderful work! This is the post that should be shared around the web.

  • The Photography and the photographs both are perfect and adorable..Everybody want such type of photography during the wedding..

  • Thanks for posting these. I love the swing. I have bookmarked these

  • Michael

    This is a ver nice post. Very informative.

    http://lightsandshadows.artetaonline.com/

  • You should make a more detailed Ebook version. Great article and I am sure a lot of new and experienced photographer’s will pick up on a thing or two. Well done

  • erin bee

    I can’t see the pictures… did something happen to them?

  • Vsmithmd

    I cant see the photos in the post…is there any way to pull them up….thanks

  • Thanks for this detailed guide, i might need it in the future.

  • Ffejlee

    Hi, 

    I’m no to this site. Your pictures look great! I was wondering what lenses you use?

    • Ffejlee

      * New

  • These are stunning images with great advice. Each pose seems to be tailor made for each couple which is equally as important.  

  • Wow very nice wedding pictures.  Excellent collections

  • jun moore

    Very useful article! I like the dipping pose 🙂

  • beautiful photos! very useful tips!

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  • I am trying to start free lancing with wedding photography. The camera I am using will be a Nikon D80 with Photshop CS2. Can anyone give me any suggestions on what lens, flash and anyother things i could use for this, Aswell as any tips or techniques on shooting and editing.

  • Unique work you have done. Thanks to share

  • There is some really sound advice here, perfect for anyone setting out in the wedding industry or anyone who has been called upon to photograph a friend or relatives wedding. Great stuff

  • Photos are very important to me, and I want some awesome shots for my wedding scrapbook. I want both proffessional, polished shots and fun shots. What poses or shots can you suggest?

    • I’m also partial to the piggyback!  It’s especially cute when the bride has a really fluffy dress.

  • Linda

    Very artistic pictures and poses.  

    Also, a photographer I recommend for nice pictures as these is Daytano Photography at http://www.daytanophotography.zenfolio.com 

  • It’s going along very nicely, and it’s turning out to be very
    inexpensive due to a lot of connections I have. For example, my dad is a
    member at the hall where we are having our receptions, so we get a 50%
    discount.

    • Pisos barcelona

      It took me time to read all the tips, but I clearly loved
      the post. It proved to be very helpful to me and I’m certain to all of the
      commenters here!

  • All the poses are very nice..I will try them when i got a chance in a wedding to take a snap of these poses.Thanks

  • All the poses are very nice..I will try them when i got a chance in a wedding to take a snap of these poses.Thanks

  • Great tips! It’s always good to have variety of poses on wedding photography to be more unique.

  • nice starting quide!

  • Great advice,Beautiful photo’s, amazing locations

  • These photographs are fantastic and capture the true romance of getting married.

  • Taz

    Thank you soo much for this inspirational post.
    I have a few weddings coming up and can’t wait to try some of these poses. By the way, the lighting on some of your shots are amazing.

  • Some great ideas here, thanks!

  • wisephotons asian wedding phot

    Thank you I have been doing these types of poses and as it happens on some shoots I forget and go completely blank.  This guide is great and have printed it off to keep is as a reminder in my camera bag for those just in case moments and inspirations

  • wisephotons asian wedding phot

    Thank you I have been doing these types of poses and as it happens on some shoots I forget and go completely blank.  This guide is great and have printed it off to keep is as a reminder in my camera bag for those just in case moments and inspirations

  • Eric Gruneisen Photography

    This is great!  I am a concert photographer, I am getting asked to do more weddings and of course my biggest fear is posing.

    Thanks for this

  • Ben
  • Athinz

    this article has inspired me so much…………
    Thanks again…

  • Tyhardy

    Amazing article on poses thanks for the great ideas. Can’t wait to use them.
    http://www.hardyproductions.com

  • Savannah Kim

    These tips will be very useful, especially for those aspiring
    photographers like me. Thanks for sharing your knowledge about
    photography.  Keep it up!

  • Carlos Cota

    Thank you, great tutorial, and congratulations nice work on pictures.

  • Carlos Cota

    Thank you, great tutorial, and congratulations nice work on pictures.

  • Great article and tips, being a wedding photographer myself, one thing that is a constant in this business is that you can never and should never stop learning.

  • Thanks for the advise my friend is getting married and keeping the budget low so I am going to help out with photography.  Can’t wait to try some of these out. 

  • Anonymous

    Great selection of classic poses that are really easy to achieve, but they are sellers which is really important.

  • This is a great article.. tho it seems about engagement sessions more than wedding??

  • Thanks – a good selection of poses there.

    Andrew

    http://www.cardiff-wedding-photography.co.uk

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  • Steph

    Awesome and thanks for sharing. Im getting ready to shoot my first wedding in June and this will def come in handy.

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  • Joe

    Fantastic!

  • thank you for this explanations, now I understand why the photographer at my wedding  took so much attention to many details

  • thank you for this explanations, now I understand why the photographer at my wedding  took so much attention to many details

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